JUNE 3, 2003

Bushlexia and The Bard


Hi folks,

I'd like to apologise for the slight mix up regarding the request for signatures on the Petition to remove George W Bush and Tony Blair from the Nobel Peace Prize nomination. Apparently, that nomination was for 2002, not this year, and Bush and Blair were eventually dropped from the list. It seems that the Petition remained active for some time and kept attracting signatures, even after the fact. Oh well, better to be safe than sorry and it's good news! -
" The Norwegian Nobel Institute chose to honour Jimmy Carter, the former President of the United States for his life-long commitment to work in humanitarian and international human rights causes, and his commitment to peaceful and diplomatic means for conflict
resolution. The decision was seen by many as a stern rebuke to the war-mongering of George W. Bush and Tony Blair. You can send a letter of thanks to the Norwegian Nobel Institute at: "

I prefer to think all the people (like me!) who continued to keep signing the petition were kind of a backstop - just in case the first wave didn't stop them. (more)
I guess everyone by now is familiar with Bushisms, or Bushlexia, as it is sometimes known. The Imperial Wizard of the USA has an uncanny ability to hack the English language to bits. There are quite a few collections of his Quaalude Quotes on the net if you go looking.

I was wondering the other night what it might have been like had George W tried to converse or debate with Shakespeare, who was also the master of the one-liner and put-down . . .

Opening statement:
BUSH: "I promise you I will listen to what has been said here, even though I wasn't here." -speaking at the President's Economic Forum in Waco, Texas, Aug. 13, 2002

SHAKESPEARE: "Bless me, what a fry of fornication is at the door." Henry VIII. " I was seeking for a fool when I found you." Antony and Cleopatra

BUSH: "You teach a child to read, and he or her will be able to pass a literacy test.'' - Feb. 21, 2001

SHAKESPEARE: 'You lisp and wear strange suits.' As You Like It

BUSH: "I'm a patient man. And when I say I'm a patient man, I mean I'm a patient man."

SHAKESPEARE: " I find the ass is compound with the major part of your syllables" Coriolanus

BUSH: "Sometimes when I sleep at night I think of (Dr. Seuss's) 'Hop on Pop.'" - in a speech about childhood education, Washington, D.C., April 2, 2002

SHAKESPEARE: "Get you gone, you dwarf; you minimus, of hind'ring knot-grass made; you bead, you acorn." Midsummer Night's Dream

The economy:
BUSH: 'I know how hard it is for you to put food on your family."

SHAKESPEARE: "Do thou amend thy face, and I'll amend my life" Henry IV Part 1

BUSH: "If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow." - Jan. 2000

SHAKESPEARE: You talk greasily, your lips grow foul." Love's Labour Lost

BUSH: "Sometimes things aren't exactly black and white when it comes to accounting procedures ... I still haven't figured it out completely." - when asked for details about his dealings with Harken Energy Corp

SHAKESPEARE: "You are as a candle, the better part burnt out." Henry IV Part 2, "More of your conversation would infect my brain" Coriolanus

Terrorism and Home Security:
BUSH: 'I had no idea we had so many weapons, ...what do we need them for?'' - stunned when told the extent of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, Newsweek, June 25, 2001

SHAKESPEARE: " O thou halfpenny purse of wit, thou pigeon-egg of discretion." Love's Labour Lost. " Were I like thee, I'd throw away myself." Timon of Athens

BUSH: "When I take action, I'm not going to fire a $2 million missile at a $10 empty tent and hit a camel in the butt. It's going to be decisive."-September 19th, 2001

SHAKESPEARE: "He never broke any man's head but his own and that was against a post when he was drunk." Henry V

BUSH: "We are fully committed to working with both sides to bring the level of terror down to an acceptable level for both." - after a meeting with congressional leaders, Washington, D.C., Oct. 2, 2001

SHAKESPEARE: "You starveling, you elf-skin, you dried neat's tongue, you bull's sizzle, you stockfish ­ O for breath to utter what is like thee! ­ you tailor's yard, you sheath, you bowcase, you vile standing tuck! " Henry IV Part 1.

BUSH: "When I was coming up, it was a dangerous world, and you knew exactly who they were. It was us versus them, and it was clear who them was. Today we are not so sure who the they are, but we know they're there." - Iowa Western Community College, Jan 21, 2000

SHAKESPEARE: "Teeth hadst thou in thy head when thou wast born, to signify thou cam'st to bite the world." Henry VI Part 3 " I did never know so full a voice issue from so empty a heart; but the saying is true ­ the empty vessel makes the greatest sound." Henry V

BUSH: "I couldn't imagine somebody like Osama bin Laden understanding the joy of Hanukkah." - at a White House Menorah lighting ceremony, Washington, D.C., Dec. 10, 2001

SHAKESPEARE: "What cracker is this same that deafs our ears with this abundance of superfluous breath?" King John. "In his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places." As You Like It

BUSH: "You know, if you find a person that you've never seen before getting in a crop-duster that doesn't belong to you, report it...." Press Conference, 10/11/01

SHAKESPEARE: " Thou hast no more brain that I have in mine elbows." Troilus and Cressida. "I can hardly forbear hurling things at him." Twelfth Night

The Environment and Community:
BUSH: "I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully." - Saginaw, Mich., Sept. 29, 2000

SHAKESPEARE: "What have we here? A man or a fish? Dead or alive? The Tempest

BUSH: "And so, in my State of the - my State of the Union - or state - my speech to the nation, whatever you want to call it, speech to the nation - I asked Americans to give 4,000 years - 4,000 hours over the next - the rest of your life - of service to America. That's what I asked - 4,000 hours." -
Bridgeport, Conn., April 9, 2002

SHAKESPEARE: 'His passions, like a whale on ground, confound themselves with working." Henry IV Part 2

BUSH: "It's not the governor's role to decide who goes to heaven. I believe that God decides who goes to heaven, not George W. Bush." -- in the Houston Chronicle.

SHAKESPEARE: "Out, you mad-headed ape! A weasel hath not such a deal of spleen as you are toss's with." Henry IV Part 1. "Thou art false to thy gods, thy brother and thy father." King Lear

World Affairs and Issues:
BUSH: "The problem with the French is that they don't have a word for 'entrepreneur'." -discussing the decline of the French economy with British Prime Minister Tony Blair

SHAKESPEARE: "The terror of the French, the scarecrow that affrights our children so." Henry VI Part 1

BUSH: "That's a chapter, the last chapter of the 20th, 20th, the 21st century that most of us would rather forget. The last chapter of the 20th century. This is the first chapter of the 21st century. " - on the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Arlington Heights, Ill., Oct. 24

SHAKESPEARE: "Come, you are a tedious fool. To the purpose . . ." Measure for Measure

BUSH: "Do you have blacks, too?" - ignorantly asking Brazil's President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Reported by the reputable German publication Der Spiegel. Rumor has it, Condoleza Rice interupted the president and explained in brief the African history in Brazil.

SHAKESPEARE: "His breath stinks with eating toasted cheese." Henry VI Part 2

BUSH: "It's important for us to explain to our nation that life is important. It's not only life of babies, but it's life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of the Internet."-Arlington Heights, Ill., Oct. 24, 2000

SHAKESPEARE: " His reasons are as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff: you shall seek all day ere you find them, and when you have them they are not worth the search." Merchant of Venice.

BUSH: "This administration is doing everything we can to end the stalemate in an efficient way. We're making the right decisions to bring the solution to an end."--Washington, D.C., April 10, 2001

SHAKESPEARE: "Leave thy vain bibble-babble." Twelfth Night

And in closing:

Bush: "One of the great things about books is sometimes there are some fantastic pictures."

Shakespeare: "If his name be George, I'll call him Peter." King John.

The Crime That Keeps On Stealing
George W Bush lost the US popular election in 2000 by 500,000 votes, but won the electoral vote by winning hotly contested Florida, the state that tipped the scales, and the state where his brother Jeb is governor. His tiny 500-vote win there was accompanied by a torrent of unhappy voters, who claimed their votes were stolen. What really happened in Florida?

For US Citizens: Stop the Florida-tion of the 2004 election
Computers threaten accountability of voting system. Sign On-Line Petition:

Have Your Rump Read by Sylvester Stallone's Mum

Jacqueline Stallone has revived the ancient art of Rumpology. Just as your fingerprints, palms, soles, and ears tell a story, so does your rump. Or shall we say, your fanny. The lines, crevices, and folds of your fanny can, to the trained eye, reveal your personality, fate, and future in luck and love. So they thought in ancient India and Babylon and so today.
Send us a print of your fanny . .


The Art of Soul Food
What does an Italian know about Soul Food cooking? Remember that trailer scene in Tarantino's True Romance, between Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken? If you've seen the film, you know what I mean. If you haven't, well, you'll have to take my word for it - there is a connection.
Hollywood screenwriter, Jeffrey Boam once advised, about writing,

'Write what you know, and if you don't know it, research it."

I suppose that has been my approach to cooking. I KNOW Italian food, but I LOVE the cuisine of just about every other culture. Soul Food is one of my favourites. So I've researched it. Poured through cookbooks, taped cooking shows, eaten the real thing, whenever and wherever possible - then compared my version with their version, back to the kitchen for finetuning, etc etc.

Here are a couple easy side dishes. I'm going to feature some vegetarian dishes by request.
Fried Green Tomatoes
3 large green or slightly ripe tomatoes
salt & pepper
1 cup fine yellow cornmeal
half cup bacon drippings or vegetable oil

The real key to the magic of this dish is the bacon drippings, but vegetarians can use vegetable or sunflower oil and serve with fresh basil on the side, remembering the basic rule: fresh herbs and/or garlic can substitute for meat flavour, in most cases.

Slice tomatoes quarter inch thick and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dip in cornmeal and coat both sides. Let them dry on a rack. Heat bacon drippings or oil, or a mixture of both. Fry tomatoes until golden and crunchy on both sides. Drain on paper and serve.
Candied Sweet Potatoes or Yams
2 or 3 large sweet potatoes or yams, sliced about quarter inch thick.
1 cup of water
1 teas vanilla extract
half stick butter, softened
half cup white sugar
half cup brown sugar
half teas ground cinnamon
half teaspoon ground allspice
1 cup raisins
2 cups pineapple chunks
(marshmallows, optional)

400 F oven. Place sweet potatoes in baking dish. Add water and vanilla. In a bowl, mix butter, sugars, cinnamon and allspice until blended. Sprinkle mixture over sweet potatoes. Cover pan and bake 45 minutes. Sprinkle raisins and pineapple chunks over the top and baste with pan juices. Bake until tender, maybe 20 minutes more. (Optional: add marshmallows in the last 10 minutes, and bake until melted.)


The final word on nutrition and health
It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting medical studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

3. The Japanese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

4. The Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and also suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than the British or Americans.


Eat and drink what you like.
Speaking English is apparently what kills you.
(thanks to Margret RoadKnight)


And, don't forget, as Willy put it so aptly, long before I did -

'Amend Thy Face!'
William Shakespeare (Henry IV Part 1)